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Sony, $799 (body) ★★★★ Pho­tog­ra­phers who are con­fi­dent enough to set their own shut­ter speed but not ready to tackle brack­et­ing and ex­po­sure set­tings unac­com­pa­nied should ap­pre­ci­ate this mid-range Sony Al­pha cam­era. The A57 is a lit­tle big­ger than its A55 pre­de­ces­sor, mak­ing it eas­ier to grip, and also sports a 16.1-megapixel res­o­lu­tion, a mov­able 3-inch screen and a built-in elec­tronic viewfinder. This cam­era also fea­tures a translu­cent mir­ror, mak­ing it quick to fo­cus and cap­ture pho­tos (up to 10 per sec­ond). Sony also has a gim­micky new fea­ture called Auto Por­trait Fram­ing that works in con­junc­tion with Smile Shut­ter. To­gether, they can iden­tify a smil­ing face, snap a por­trait and save two ver­sions of it, one cut down to op­ti­mal pro­por­tions. Its viewfinder and im­age noise could be bet­ter.

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